Pilgrim

Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra – The Tour of Shakti Peeth of Goddess Durga

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Vaishno Devi Yatra 

The Mata Vaishno Devi Temple is known as one of the Shakti Peeth of Goddess Durga. Every year thousands of pilgrims plan Vaishno Devi Yatra & They feel blessed while entering the Vaishno Devi Temple, it is believed that Maa Vaishno Devi call her devotees. The shrine contains images of three deities – Mahakali, Mahalakshmi & Maa Saraswati . Vaishno Devi, also popularly known as  Mata Rani in Hinduism.

Vaishno Devi History

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The actual date of the establishment of the shrine has not been recorded. According to a geological study, the cave is nearly a million years old. There is no reference to the Goddess Durga in Vedic literature, but the Trikuta mountain is referenced in Rigveda. Maa Vaishno Devi was first mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, when Arjun addresses the Goddess. It is believed that the temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan were built by the Pandavas. Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh Guru, is said to have visited the cave.

Some people believe that the shrine is the holiest of all Shakti peeths. It is believed that the shrine was discovered 700 years ago by Pandit Shridhar. According to legend, Mata Vaishno devi appeared in his dream and asked him to search for her at the holy cave amidst the folds the Trikuta Mountain. On entering the cave, he found a rock formation with three heads. Maa Vaishno Devi appeared before him and blessed him. Pandit Shridhar then spent the rest of his life in the service of the Goddess Durga at the holy cave.

Vaishno Devi Tour

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Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the oldest shrine of India, located in a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range.The tour begins at Katra at the foot of the mountain, Earlier, a trip to Vaishno Devi was done on foot and devotees walked to the caves of Mata Vaishno Devi far away of 61 km from Jammu that was quite strenuous. Even today, many devotees would rather walk, although carts and horses can also be found to carry visitors to the mountains. Helicopter services can be found which shuttle devotees to the shrine every day.

The original cave is very narrow and takes time to achieve the Sanctum. A new tunnel continues to be constructed, which is 200 metres long to facilitate the large influx of pilgrims visiting the place to go for Darshan. However, the original cave is open for devotees during the lean season, traditional festivals or ritualistic occasions.

Due to its high altitude, the weather in Vaishno Devi is very cold and during winter the temperature falls below 0° Celsius. It is best to avoid going to Vaishno Devi during the winter and rainy seasons. The best time for you to visit Mata Vaishno Devi is during the summer months and when there is no rainfall.

Vaishno Devi  Darshan

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The Trikuta Mountain where the Shrine is located and the Holy Cave are the gateway to the dimension of Super Consciousness. And just like the Trikuta Mountain, which is one at the base but has three peaks (hence the name Trikoot), the revelation of the Mother Goddess in the Holy Cave is in a natural rock form which is one at the base but has three heads at the top. These three heads in a natural rock form are known as the Holy Pindies and are worshipped as the revelation of the Mother Goddess.

The entire rock body is immersed in water, and a marble platform has now been constructed all around. The main Darshans remain to be of the three heads called the Holy Pindies. The uniqueness of the Holy Pindies is that although they emanate from one single rock form, each one is distinctly different from the other two in colour and texture.

Vaishno Devi Aarti

The procedure of ‘Aarti’ is a very sacred and lengthy one. The Pujaris perform ‘Aarti’ before the deity first inside the sanctum- sanctorum and than outside the cave. Before the commencement of ‘Aarti’, the Pujaris perform ‘Aatma pujan’ i,e self-purification. Then the Goddess is bathed in water, milk, ghee (Clarified butter), honey and sugar, which is called Panchamrita Puja. Thereafter the goddess is dressed-up in a saree, chola and chunari and adorned with ornaments. The whole process takes place along with the enchantment of various shlokas and Mantras. Thereafter Tilak (sacred mark)is placed on the forehead of the deity and Naivedya (prasad) is offered to her.

The pilgrms who remain seated outside the holy cave during the time when the Aarti of Mata Vaishno Devi is performed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, keep listening to the Pravachans of head Pandit. After the Aarti outside the holy cave gets over, the pujari distributes Prasadam and the charanamrit (the holy water) to the devotees. The whole process of Mata Rani Ki Aarti takes nearly two hours during which, new entries of devotees are suspended. All the required maintenance work inside the cave is carried out during this time only.

Other Hindu Pilgrimage Near Vaishno Devi Temple 

Aside from the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, there are also a number of other pilgrimage sites on the way, like the Bhumika Temple, Kalika Temple, Shiva Goompha, and Ban Ganga Temple with the spring of the holy river Ban Ganga.

Vaishno Devi  Darshan By Air 

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The nearest airport to Vaishno Devi is Jammu Airport. Jammu is well connected to the rest of India by air.Tourists from other cities in India and those from abroad can reach the international airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc. and then board a connecting flight to Jammu Both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate daily flights to Jammu. The average flying time from New Delhi is about 80 minutes.

Vaishno Devi  Darshan By Train

One can also reach Katra by rail. Jammu/Katra is connected to other parts of country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for  the comfort of the Yatris. Many superfast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu/Katra overnight from New Delhi.

Vaishno Devi  Darshan By Bus

Vaishno Devi is connected to the rest of India through a good network of national highways and state highways. National Highway 1A connects Jammu to Srinagar. Most of the major North Indian cities, such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Shimla, etc. have regular bus services to Jammu. Both private as well as government-run buses are available.

Mata Vaishno devi Tour  – Rented Accommodation 

For the benefit of the pilgrims, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board provides clean, well maintained and very economical accommodation. This accommodation is available at Jammu (at Vaishnavi Dham, Kalika Dham and Saraswati Dham near Railway Station), at Katra (at Niharika Yatri Niwas, Shakti Bhawan, and Ashirwad Bhawan situated at the Bus stand) Katra. Another dormitory accommodation, Trikuta Bhawan, Katra is available at near the 2nd Yatra counter (YRC II). Accommodation is available at Adkuwari, Sajichatt and at main Bhawan also.

Mata Vaishno devi Tour – Adrress & Booking information for Reservation –

Officer Incharge (Enquiry and Reservation)
Shakti Bhawan, Niharika Complex (Near Bus Stand)
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Katra – 182301 (J&K)
Phone: 01991- 234053
E-Mail: [email protected]  or Click Here for Vaishno Devi Tour Online Registration 

Mata Vaishno devi Tour – Precaution 

  • Before proceeding for the trek, obtain a Yatra slip from Yatra Registration Counter, near bus stand KatraThe slip is issued free of cost. . No one is allowed to proceed beyond Banganga check post without obtaining the Yatra slip.
  • In case you wish to avail of the facility of rented accommodation at Katra, Adkuwari, Sanjichhat or Bhawan, please get the room reservation done from the Enquiry and Reservation Counter at Niharika Complex (near the Bus Stand) Katra.
  • Kindly confirm the rates of the Porters, Ponies and Palanquins before hiring them and ensure that they carry a valid registration card. Note down their numbers before entrusting them with your valuables. Please do not pay more than the approved rates.
  • Video cameras and other electronic equipment are not allowed on the track. Please make arrangements for their safekeeping at Katra itself.
  • Travel light. Please leave all unnecessary clothes and luggage at Katra itself. Food, drink and blankets are available. There is no need to carry these items along.

Best Time To Visit  MaaVaishno Devi Mandir

The best time for pilgrims to undertake the journey is between the months of March to October. A lot of pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi between these months as the weather is cool and pleasant, but maximum visitors plan their trip during the Navratras.

During the winters from November to February, the temperature reaches sub-zero levels and we recommend only the physically fit to visit at that time. The upside is that this is the time when the skies open up and Katra and the surrounding areas are cloaked in snow